Hot off the press

These are the top stories making the front pages of major newspapers from across Southeast Asia today. 

Get up to speed with what’s happening in the fastest growing region in the world.

Thai tourism still wounded

Next week will mark the one-year anniversary of the fatal tour boat accident in Phuket, and Thai tourism is still paying the price from the incident. Recklessness, poor safety measures and a heavy storm were blamed for the 47 Chinese lives lost on board the Phoenix tour boat that capsized off Phuket last 5 July. 

The accident resulted in a sharp decline in the number of visitors from China to Thailand, though some have argued that the drop-off was a consequence of the tension between China and the US since late 2018. – Bangkok Post

Drones, bad weather cause flight delays and diversions at Changi Airport on Monday

Unauthorised drones caused flight delays and disruptions at Changi Airport on Monday night, just days after a previous incident saw 37 flights delayed.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Tuesday (June 25) in response to media queries that approximately 15 departures and three arrivals were delayed, and another seven flights were diverted, due to bad weather and unauthorised drone activities. – The Straits Times

IMF chief praises Malaysia's efforts to rebuild buffers, fight corruption

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is impressed with Malaysia’s economic development and resolve to strengthen fiscal discipline, as reflected in the measures being undertaken in the 2019 Budget. IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, after meeting Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus here yesterday, expressed positive overtures about Malaysia’s economy. She said she was pleased to see Malaysia’s 2019 Budget seeking a return to fiscal discipline. – New Straits Times

Protestors block road near airport runway project over unpaid compensation

People whose homes are to be demolished to make way for the construction of a new runway at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, have blocked Jl. Perimeter Utara near the project site in protest, claiming they have not received the agreed upon compensation. The residents said they had not received compensation from state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II. – The Jakarta Post

Health secretary faces graft, plunder charges

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III is facing graft and plunder charges in the Office of the Ombudsman over a lease agreement between a company owned by his family and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth). With help from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), the parents of 10 schoolchildren who allegedly died after being given the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia in 2016 filed the complaint on Friday. – Philippine Daily Inquirer

UEC increases campaign spending limit for 2020

The Union Election Commission (UEC) has announced that it intends to allow candidates who will contest the 2020 general election to spend more than K10 million (US$6600) on campaign activities. Under the existing rules, a candidate cannot spend more than K10 million. The ruling party will wait for the commission to announce the new campaign spending limit, said NLD spokesperson U Myo Nyunt. All candidates must submit their accounts for campaign expenditures within 30 days of the announcement of the election winners. – Myanmar Times